WIS Television goes high-def with HDTV

Published: Feb. 25, 2003 at 3:33 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 30, 2006 at 9:47 PM EST
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(Columbia) - WIS has been broadcasting digital television since January 30, 2003. Our digital station is officially known as WIS-DT.

Since it first signed on in 1953, the original WIS Television has been transmitting an analog signal on Channel 10. Our digital counterpart is on Channel 41, though owners of digital TV sets may see the channel displayed as 10 on their screen.

WIS-DT simulcasts all the WIS and NBC programs you enjoy on Channel 10 day and night. In addition, many NBC prime time programs, "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," and "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" are broadcast in high-definition television (HDTV).

HDTV offers us a new way of looking at the world. Just as color TV transformed the medium when it became popular during the 1960s, digital television represents another wave of the future. It offers dramatically clearer, sharper, and wider pictures and CD-quality sound.

To take full advantage of digital programs on WIS, viewers need to have a digital television set or a digital monitor connected to a digital receiver. HDTV is a type of digital broadcast that makes full use of the medium. HDTV uses a screen that appears wider than standard analog TV sets, which display video in a 4:3 width-to-height ratio. HDTV looks more like a motion picture screen, with a 16:9 width-to-height ratio. All HDTV programs are digital, but not all digital television is HDTV . Shows on WIS-DT that are not in HD are called SD, or standard definition. SD video viewed on a digital set is also sharper than analog television, but it's not as detailed as HDTV .

WIS-DT actually consists of three digital channels:

  • 10-1 - The HDTV channel. It is converted from the normal analog 4:3 screen. When NBC broadcasts in HDTV , this channel is switched to that format.
  • 10-2 – WIS Weather Plus airs in standard definition digital. It is a 24/7 weather channel created in partnership with NBC News.
  • 10-3 - This is analog Channel 10 converted to digital in the same 4:3 screen format.

While you need a different type of TV set to watch WIS-DT, your existing analog set will not become obsolete overnight. The Federal Communications Commission originally planned for stations to shut down their analog signals in 2006, but that deadline has been pushed back to February of 2009. Even then, analog sets will be able to receive digital signals with a converter attached, or if they are connected to a set-top cable or satellite box.

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WIS Television programming in high definition